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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has informed in its official statement that it is banning the use stapler pins in tea bags effective January 1, 2018. This transformation is expected to have a very alarming effect on the rapidly growing packaged tea business in the country. The regulator has decided to ban the stapler pins use in tea bags as it considers the use as a serious health hazard.
As per the order released by FSSAI, “The use of stapler pins in tea bags poses a potential hazard to consumers since any loose staple pin consumed inadvertently with tea may cause a serious health hazard.”
Currently, tea bags are either stapled or knotted. The Food Authority, in the exercise of the power conferred under Section (15) FSS Act, 2006, hereby directs the concerned food business operators to discontinue the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of stapled tea bags by January 1, 2018.”
It has also directed all food safety commissioners to take action to prevent the use of unsafe packaging materials by companies and take up measures for enforcement of its order. According to industry estimates, the tea bag segment contributes 3-4 per cent by value of total tea sales but it is one of the fastest growing segments at 50-60 per cent year-on-year.